We found a mix of local, Asian and healthy dishes that only need five ingredients or less for a stellar meal.
Shopping for ingredients, prep time and the clean up after… cooking can be a tedious task if you don’t enjoy it. But what if we told you that you don’t have to fill your cabinet with a bunch of spices or produce just to whip up one delish meal? We’ve culled 15 tasty dishes with simple recipes that use five ingredients or less.
Disclaimer: We’re going out on a limp and assuming you have essential ingredients such as oil, salt, pepper, sugar, butter and water so that doesn’t count! Now, unleash the masterchef in you.
Din Tai Fung-inspired egg and shrimp fried rice
Is the fried rice from Din Tai Fung a must-have during every visit? Imagine recreating it at home with just a few ingredients? The folks from Spice N’ Pans use basic ingredients such as eggs, jasmine rice, soya sauce, spring onions and chicken stock powder in this winning dish. Tip: Feel free to add or omit ingredients to your liking.
Good ‘old grilled cheese sandwich
Those of you who’ve watched the feel-good film, Chef, will know what we’re talking about. The movie’s filled with amazing dishes but one that will have you salivating is the – dare we say – sexy grilled cheese sandwich scene. YouTube star Binging with Babish clearly demonstrates how to recreate it in this step-by-step tutorial. All you need: Olive oil, sourdough bread, butter and a combo of gruyère, cheddar and parmesan cheese for that trademark cheese stretch. Again, your fridge is your oyster so go ahead and add your favourite toppings. We love loading it with a fried egg, bacon and hot sauce.
Summery and fresh strawberry feta tossed salad
The light and refreshing strawberry feta tossed salad by Taste of Home is great for a quick, healthy meal. Plus, there’s no prep needed unless you count slicing strawberries and crumbling feta cheese bits as work. Toss all ingredients together and voila, you’ve got yourself a summery bowl of greens.
Bacon and egg muffins aka breakfast in a cup
These small but mighty breakfast heroes from The Midnight Baker are made of just bread, eggs and bacon – adding tomato slices or sauteed mushrooms is totally up to you. Oh, and be sure to spray some oil onto the muffin cups to retain its shape.
Umami-rich miso roasted salmon
Who would have thought a nice slab of salmon slathered with umami-rich miso would taste so good? Simply Whisk shows us just how easy it is to recreate a healthy dish with five ingredients. You can find miso paste at any local supermarket.
Loaded and roasted red pepper asparagus quinoa
Who’s in for a protein-packed meal? Inside BruCrew Life’s five-ingredient dish is loaded with all the good stuff such as asparagus, grilled chicken breast, roasted red pepper and quinoa. Total cooking and prep time adds up to a swift 30 minutes, and it will keep you full all night.
Classic carbonara that hits the spot
If there’s one thing we’re guilty of, it’s googling carbonara recipes during the wee hours of the morning and regretting it later. Tummy rumbles aside, we’re all for this classic carbonara recipe by Italian chef and restaurateur Gennaro Contaldo. In this six-minute YouTube video, he uses guanchiale (pig cheek), which you can substitute with pancetta or even bacon (no judgement!), seasoned pasta water, fresh egg yolks and pecorino cheese.
Summer pea, watermelon and farro salad
This mishmash of watermelon, summer pea and farro grains from MyRecipes.com is a match made in healthy heaven. Plus, you can unleash your creativity by playing around with fruits, grains and additional ingredients. Farro grains are a great substitute for low-carb diets.
Kaya toast for a truly local breakfast
Ahh, who can resist indulging in our very own kaya toast every now and then? Not only can you whip this up with just three ingredients (toast, a thick slab of salted butter and kaya spread), it literally takes minutes. If you love a challenge, What to Cook Today also shares a 10-minute kaya spread recipe, which uses just five ingredients. Pair the toast with soft-boiled eggs and the kopi of your choice for a truly Singaporean brekkie.
Pesto chicken pasta with sun-dried tomatoes
Who else loves a rad pesto pasta dish? This recipe by Two Peas and their Pod calls for chicken, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and whole wheat pasta. Again, you can make a big bottle of pesto from scratch to keep for other pesto-filled dishes but store bought will do. It’s a great dish for big groups too!
Asian chicken or pork porridge
It is pouring outside as we write this and all we can think about is curling up to this warm bowl of porridge from Noob Cook. Yes, all you need is rice, minced pork or chicken, light soy sauce, sesame oil, corn flour and liberal dashes of white pepper powder to yield this simple yet hearty dish. Chopped spring onions and fried shallot oil are optional but a must for us.
Flavoursome rosemary-thyme lamb chops
Who says you need a bunch of seasoning to prepare a scrumptious meat dish? This recipe from Taste of Home combines the flavors of fresh rosemary and thyme, garlic and Dijon mustard to deliver a flavoursome meal. Great for special occasions or date night at home.
Lemony white bean and arugula salad
Arugula, red onions, cannellini beans, Dijon mustard and zesty lemon rind – we can’t stress enough how little effort is needed to toss a simple salad. The next time someone uses the words ‘boring’ and ‘salad’ together in a sentence, just send this recipe over…
Pasta salad that hits flavour town
We promise, this is the last pasta dish on the list. Remember the pesto chicken pasta we talked about above? This dish from Gimme Some Oven is a heartier version with fresh arugula, diced mozzarella cheese and roasted red peppers. Y-U-M!
Epic ribeye steak
The best thing about a quality cut of steak is you don’t need many ingredients. Hey, even the most popular chefs use liberal dashes of salt and pepper to flavour the meat, and then call it a day. But you already know that. Chef Jamie Oliver amps it up with fresh rosemary, garlic, mushrooms and white beans for a flavour-packed ribeye steak dish.